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Name: knitabulous
Location: Mt Keira, New South Wales, Australia

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Knitting Alone
Knitspot Morning Glory Wrap Frost Flowers and Leaves Pomatomus Socks One Day
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Competition Winners

27 Apr 2006

Honourable Mentions

The weirdest answer had to be from Jussi, about the electron scanning microscope view of the fly’s tongue. The mind boggles at how one would come to acquire such knowledge!

The Benny Hill award goes to Tianne for the feather boa response. I wouldn’t have expect any less of you Tianne, fnar fnar.

Of course it was the car wash thingy, and the photo was taken by Louis, who was I think a bit scared if the truth be known. I used to crap myself in those things as a kid in the Kingswood, my sister and I would shriek and hold hands but I was always very very scared – I wonder if she was too?

So, I think the actual prize must go to the first correct answer, and that is Pamela Lee of Knitting through the Looking Glass, email me and I’ll get your details to receive your prize.

2Paw, please email me at daly04@bigpond.net.au as I have a surprise for you!

The fact that the best looking man on TV is secretly gay has devastated my ideals of running away and becoming an organic farmer with a toyboy. Big Brother and I are not on speaking terms.


Have you seen the movie ‘The Castle’? You could smell the serenity from the porch of our farm cottage at Mystery Bay, and it didn’t smell like aeroplane fuel like in the movie.

When we got there the kids immediately went and filled the bird-table with seeds and bread. This brought the local parrots out in their droves, much to their delight.

We then went for a long walk on Billy’s Beach, were the king tides of ’74 left a gravel deposit that still sits proudly like a little mountain in the middle of the beach.

There were mullet in the shin-deep shores swimming around like flashing soup. Probably stirred up by a predatory fish a bit further offshore, and the less said about that the better I feel.

We fed the resident horses, and let their velvet noses nuzzle our necks and hands.

Blair collected some shells.

I found a knitting chair on the porch.

Then, we went inside and stoked up the fire.

Late in the afternoon, sunset came and basked us all in orange glow. Spectacular views of Mount Dromedary in the distance framed the sun as it sunk into the west horizon.

We took the boat out on the river and caught our dinner, bream and flathead taste so sweet when caught and cooked within hours, the guests in the other cottages were very jealous of us at the communal bbq.

The kids socialised with the other kids staying in some of the other cabins (co-incidentally one family lived ten minutes from our place), and the adults had a few dinners together at the communal bbq area.

Another day we visited Tilba Tilba, where we bought some cheese and browsed the wonderful arty shops – we even got some vegetables into us for lunch, and I spotted a lady knitting.

Alan and I even got away for a night to a romantic restaurant.

It was the perfect unwind and we’re all ready now for the deluge of school term 2. Back to swimming, dancing, birthday parties, homework tantrums, uniform pressing and early starts.

This term we are going to enter the untested waters of the School Bus.

Psychotics and Skanks

24 Apr 2006

I'm back from holidays, will post during the week about how relaxing, beautiful and happy our holiday was, and the winner of the competition will be announced. Right now, the pressing issue of the day is the reality TV.

I wonder what is the meaning behind the current intake of Reality TV contestants?

Survivor and Big Brother - nothing but psychos and skanks.

I'm not much interested in either unfortunately.

My favourite quote from last night's Big Brother Launch

"people look at me and think 'skank' but I'm not. I'm a "laydeee"

Hmm - if you have to say it out loud, it probably ain't true.

PS: Survivor is playing catch-up to the US here, two eps a week until we make up for lost time we spent watching the Commonwealth Games. We have just booted Bobby. Please no spoilers.

Going on holidays again

13 Apr 2006

I'll be taking a little break as of today for about ten days.

During that time I'll be taking some rnr at Mystery Bay Cottages. Looks nice doesn't it?

I have high hopes for this holiday, I plan on achieving the following:

* Getting those stupid sleeves on Amelie - there is a plan for this

* Finishing at least on of the outside borders on the shetland sampler stole from GOL.

* Sorting out all the blog code I accidentally deleted the other day

* Writing at least two decent articles for magazine that shall not be named until they are accepted

* Working out how to get video and audio on to blog

In the meantime, I shall leave you with my first (and possibly only) blog competition.

Here is a mystery photo. Do you know what it is?

A prize will be awarded for the first correct answer, or possibly the funniest answer, or possibly just an answer - but there will be a prize nonetheless.

So, have a go, you've gotta be in it to win it.

And have a safe and happy Easter all of you too.

Bruschetta Puttanesca

12 Apr 2006

or Slut's Bruschetta

Spray a slice of fresh baguette with extra virgin olive oil. Rub a cut clove of garlic on it. Top with a slice of truss tomato, some maldon sea salt and a few torn basil leaves.

Sit at computer surfing knitting blogs and enjoy. Continue making cheater's bruschetta one slice at a time until disgusted with self. Have one more just to make sure.

Ignore the pile of wet washing in the laundry. Don't unpack the dishwasher and most certainly don't wash up the plates in the sink left there because the dishwasher was full.

I wish the kids weren't at school.

Surf's up

11 Apr 2006

There's been a groundswell on the East coast of NSW the likes of which we haven't seen for 40 years. This has been caused by cyclone Wati.

There is a little natural phenomenon in that cute little tourist town (that one off highway robbery) where we spent a lovely Sunday afternoon recently. It's called the Kiama blowhole. It's a gap in the rocks where the surf surges in and when there's a good swell, it causes a column of water to shoot up in the air, easy twenty metres high.

So, with the surf up allegedly bigger than it's been in my lifetime, we headed to the headland to sit and watch her majesty.

And we weren't the only ones.

The violence and the power, it was a humbling sight. Such a difference from the flat soup of the meditteranean and tropical islands where you can wade out for hundreds of metres before it gets waist deep - no wonder they call the undertow at Bondi 'backpackers rip'. Me, I much prefer a bit of adrenaline with my sunburn thank you very much.

Speaking of which, have any of you been watching that Bondi rescue show on TV? I love it, I think it captures perfectly the australian beach culture, the pre-teen grommets who are clearly half salt, the ancient men and women who take a dip every day rain hail or shine, the showponies, the families - all here, all welcome.

The lazy laconic sense of humour and comeraderie of the lifesavers is delightful, and there's a wonderful insight into the naiivety of the tourists who are completely unaware that if you venture into the surf for a dip, it is necessary that you know how to swim.

Of course there's the compulsory TV sensationalism to do with bluebottles and sharks, enough to terrify the toughest of European travellers.

A bluebottle sting in my childhood was, whilst obviously painful, not a very big deal. Dad would rub a bit of sand in it, a bit of a 'never mind' from mum, a mouthful of warm cordial and then back to whatever you were doing.

To see these grown ups hyperventilating and fainting and moaning like they're on death's door because of a bluebottle sting is quite fascinating, because it's not the pain so much as the shock that causes it.

Growing up in this place where the spiders, the snakes, the creepy crawlies, the bluebottles and the sharks are just part of the fabric of life. It's not as though you see them every day.

If you get stung by a bluebottle down the beach it's going to hurt like mad for a few minutes and then it's going to be alright. It won't kill you. We learn this as kids, so a) we know what they look like and we avoid them and b) if we do get stung we know what to expect.

I imagine if you didn't know this and you were minding your own business standing in calf deep water having a dream holiday moment when suddenly your leg felt like it was being injected with poison you may not be able to take it all calmly.

But my oh my, when a shirtless adonis appears and carries you from the sand and into the surfclub where he rubs stingose on it all the while speaking reassuring words and smoothing your hair, well, it might be worth it.

Watch it, you might like it.

Rescued from Bunny death row

10 Apr 2006

The kids went wandering in the neighbourhood yesterday. Next door is a lovely Italian woman with a formidable vege patch. She makes vats of fantastic pasta sauce (Sharon is sure it's the salt and the oil that makes it so good and I would tend to agree).

She keeps rabbits in a hutch and feeds them on vegetable scraps, and every so often from what I understand she cooks and eats these rabbits.

Suffice to say, I won't go into the details, I've never been happy about these rabbits. Anyway, the kids asked her could they have one. She, being of good merchant stock, told them they could have a rabbit if we paid for a cage, of which she has several spares. My kids came in and told me that for $100 I could have a big cage and two free rabbits, and for $50 I could have one free rabbit and a smaller cage. Blair added "any money would be all right, because she said she was very poor". I don't think this is strictly true, but the bribe was already in place - how could I refuse those little innocent faces?

So, presenting the new addition to the Daly family, our first live pet (I was able to successfully emancipate the lizard in return).....


On the social front, I went to a rugby league match. Or, might I say a rugby league slaughter.

See the scoreboard?

It says Knights 52 Dragons nil. It got worse before it got better, and the Dragons were beaten 54 to 6. I'm not much of a footy fan, but we're in a footy tipping competition with a group of friends and twenty of us went to the match and then out for a Thai dinner afterwards. We had a great time in spite of the poor result.

And the knitting? I can't even talk about it.

Nightmarish sleeves

7 Apr 2006

The body of the Amelie cardigan has been finished for some time. The sleeves are giving me a complete nightmare.

Firstly let me say I think the horrible problem I'm having with Amelie's sleeves is me, not the pattern.

It's not that the pattern isn't wrong, it most certainly is, but I emailed WLD and got a very prompt reply from St Joan telling me to do an extra 10 rows before beginning the every other row bind offs.

My armholes must be disproportionately long compared with the pattern size because if I were to add another 10 rows then the sleeve cap part would still be 10 rows or so shy of the lenghth of the armhole. And it isn't wide enough across the upper arm, which is more than likely a gauge issue.

Here is the armhole.

Ordinary looking armhole, wouldn't you think? The seam across the shoulder could probably be angled slightly, but other than that there's no real reason why a sleeve could not be knitted to fit it, non?

Before Joan so kindly emailed me back, I consulted Saint Montse Stanley (signed copy no less). She advised a sleeve shaped thus:

The I consulted Saint Grump, who advised a short-row wrap and turn technique picking up a stitch each side. I began this and whilst it is turning out a well-fitting sleeve, the pickup joins look really really awful. Look.

The body of the cardigan stretches out properly and fits the recipient well, even though it looks very skinny in the picture.

I know I'm going to have to rip it out for about the fifth time.

I'm also going to need two more balls of yarn.

It's getting harder not to start something else.


My mother found the lizard in the laundry

No help from my excellent lizard trap.

We will be freeing him tomorrow.

Alexander Beetle

3 Apr 2006

Do you remember that nursery rhyme, Alexander Beetle?

We were taught it in infants school and I've never forgotten it. It was written by A A Milne (thank you commenter), although Google attributes it more to that great hippy chick Melanie Safka and is on an album of hers which to this day I think is one of the best albums of all time.

Well, I've just this minute done something like the nanny in that song. My husband found a baby Eastern Water Dragon in the pool when he was cleaning it. Blair was ecstatic. They put it in a shoebox with some dirt and some leaves. Blair caught a moth and force fed the poor thing.

When I got home last night I gave it some water and sternly told Blair that she had to let it go. She protested like I was about to execute it. I said we could wait until morning.

This morning I said there was no way I was going to stand by and allow her to starve a baby lizard to death in a box inside my home. She said "but it eats bacon".

I gave some bacon to the lizard and cut a hole in the top of the box. We covered the hole with cling film. I took them to school. "The lizard must be set free this afternoon" I said to her.

Guess what? The stupid lizard went and escaped from the box! I saw it scamper across the dining table and onto the sunroom floor, it was so quick I lost sight of it. My life is so not going to be worth living when I get that child home from school and she finds out.

I think it is still in the house. So, I've set a trap with some plastic lizards, a lamb cutlet bone and a saucer of water. I hope I can find it and catch it before 3 o clock.

Wonderful Nut

Really when you think about it, there's no such thing as a bad nut is there? The macadamia, the pecan, even the ubiquitous peanut - all good nuts.

On our trip to Sydney we went fossicking in the wonderful shops in Newtown. When I was young and single with short burgundy hair and skin like milk I used to trudge this street every hungover Saturday to return the video, get a haircut, buy some bread and cheese or look at clothes. And every week it used to make me feel the same way. Liberated.

I'm pleased to say that in spite of now being an overweight, bleached blonde, fake tanned, overly madeup suburban middle-aged housewife mother of two, King St can still make me feel that way.

One of the shops we looked in was a vintage dress shop. They had some fabulous hats from the thirties which were like pillbox hats wrapped in turbans in lurid colours. There were frocks and coats - proper ones with pintucks and pleats with nipped waists.

There was also a basket of linen stuff. I sifted through it, and picked this up.

It's a square table centrepiece, hand embroidered and crocheted around the outside. It's very soft, like it has been washed hundreds of times. It's possible the embroidery and crochet is newer than the fabric itself.

Closer inspection reveals that it may have been embroidered on an old sheet and in the centre it has been patched and darned in two places. It was this part, the repairing that got to me, not the embroidery. Someone has darned and patched this fabric because either they loved it and didn't want to lose it or because they couldn't abide the waste of throwing it away.

And, here it was, sitting there cheap as chips in a second hand store waiting for me to find it. I felt quite strongly about this old rag, so I took it to the counter to buy it.

While I was there I struck up a conversation with the store owner, we talked about how this piece of material had such mystery, because the original fabric may have been a sheet that was slept on (by whom I wonder?), and then it was hand-darned when it got holes in it (mother? grandmother?), and then someone cut it up and embroidered on it (did they deliberately want to keep the sheet for some sentimental reason?). This thing could have gone from place to place, from woman to woman, maybe for generations. Or maybe it was just a remnant. Who knows? And the mystery to me was all about the darned bits in the middle, the bit that others considered a flaw and the very reason it was so cheap and in the basket in the first place.

The darned bits proved to me that there was sentimental value in this old sheet, and I had to take it home and preserve the power this sentiment had given it. I couldn't leave it there in the basket unloved and unwanted.

The shop owner looked me in the eye and said to me "Well, aren't you a wonderful nut?"

I took it as a great compliment, for reaaly, there is no other kind.

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